Ransomware a key concern in 2017

Cybercriminals continue to build their digital arsenals, designing new threats that paralyze networks and facilitate the harvesting of sensitive data. Yet, many continue to lean on one tried-and-true vector: ransomware.

Last year, hackers executed roughly 638 million ransomware strikes, according to recent research from the data security firm Sonicwall. These attacks resulted in substantial ransom payments. Companies victim to ransomware paid an estimated $209 million in the first quarter alone.

This trend is expected to continue over the next year, as new vectors emerge and more organizations embrace enterprise mobility by adopting BYOD or CYOD plans, according to McAfee Labs. Businesses based in the U.S. and U.K. are particularly vulnerable, as ransomware wielders have been known to focus their efforts on these countries.

"Last year, hackers executed roughly 638 million ransomware strikes."

In fact, cybercriminals have already executed some particularly stunning attacks. Last month, one managed to shut down the St. Louis Public Library, deploying a nefarious program that crippled its computer network and halted operations at its 16 branches, CNN reported. Another hacker literally locked guests out of their rooms at the Romantik Seehotel Jaegerwir in Turracherhohe, Austria, according to The New York Times.

Experts expect these attacks to continue throughout 2017, and have advised businesses to take necessary precautions to protect mission-critical applications and other digital assets. In most cases, ransomware enters internal networks through phishing emails. Businesses should advise employees on how to spot these false messages. Additionally, those with BYOD or CYOD programs are advised to monitor their mobile networks for suspicious activity and offer users practical data security guidance.

Agile IT modernization can help businesses of all sizes adapt to the data security demands that accompany BYOD and CYOD strategies. Inventu's Flynet Viewer meets the needs of organizations and their employees in a way that feels both familiar and simple.